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How Safe is Your Drinking Water?

New York Times reporter Charles Duhigg discovers that drinking water can be legal and still be unhealthy in his series Toxic Waters. In researching the series, he studied thousands of water pollution records, which he obtained via the Freedom of Information Act and discovered that an estimated one out of ten Americans is exposed to unsafe drinking water. Look at What's in Your Water? to find out what the contaminant level is in your drinking water system. Also be sure to check out CPL’s water quality resources to find out more on this important topic.
[Photo courtesy of AP Images]

Don't forget to recycle your tree!

Just a friendly reminder, that Canton Waste Recycling (CWR) will offer curb-side pick-up of natural Christmas trees from January 4-14, 2010. CWR asks that you place your tree at the curb by 6:30AM on your regular trash day with all stands and ornaments removed. After January 14, trees will no longer be accepted at the curb. For more information on Christmas tree pick-ups, call CWR at (734) 397-5801.

Tweet-a-Watt Takes the Kill-a-Watt to the Next Level

For those that want to take the results of the Kill-a-Watt (available to check out from CPL) to the next level there is the new Tweet-a-Watt kit (available for purchase from Adafruit Industries) that lets users post the daily energy consumption of their refrigerator or TV set to a Twitter account. The idea won the 2009 Greener Gadgets Competition. The kit allows users to transmit power usage information to a computer receiver. The receiver can log, graph and even tweet that information. People can then "compete for the lowest numbers and also see how they’re doing compared to their friends and followers."

Simply Organic

OK, I admit it. I am obsessed with the topic of locally produced, organic foods. If you are too - and there are many reasons to be - you may want to check out "Simply Organic: A Cookbook for Sustainable, Seasonal, and Local Ingredients" by Jesse Ziff Cool. Perhaps what I like most about this cookbook is that it is organized according to the seasons and transitions between them with chapters like "Early Winter" and "Deep Winter." Plus, the ingredients are relatively simple and includes things that I actually eat (except perhaps the Raspberry Millet Pancakes). With 150 enticing recipes, "Simply Organic" may encourage you to embrace organic foods "as a lifestyle rather than a fad."

Clean Energy Makeover for Ford Plant in Wixom

The Ford plant in Wixom, Michigan will be converted into a renewable energy manufacturing facility. According to earth2tech.com, the 320-acre plant is getting its clean energy makeover through a partnership between Ford Motors and Govenor Jennifer Granholm, and greentech companies Xtreme Power, Clairvoyant Energy and Oerlikon Solar. The solar plant should be up and running by 2011. To find out more about "greentech", check out the green technology resources available from CPL. [Photo courtesy of AP Images].

TIECon Midwest 2009

TIECon Midwest 2009 will take place Friday, October 23 at the Ritz-Carlton in Dearborn, MI. The conference is designed for entrepreneurs who "think creatively, innovatively and resourcefully to create their own future regardless of economic conditions and uncertainties."TiECon Midwest 2009 will focus on four vertical educational tracks including: Cleantech, IT, Healthcare and Emerging Concepts.

Peace Love and Planet, Inc. - your local answer to recycling garden plastics

Peace, Love & Planet, Inc. (PLP) initiated a plastic recycling program to prevent garden plastic from entering Michigan landfills and promote sustainability in our community. You can drop off your garden plastic pots and trays at convenient locations, such as the Plymouth Nursery, for recycling. You can also volunteer an hour or two to help prepare plastic for recycling on Saturday, October 10 from 10am to noon at Christensen's Plant Center, 6282 Gotfredsen Rd., Plymouth Township, MI 48170.

Michigan Helping Hand Website

The Michigan Helping Hand site helps Michigan citizens facing economic hardship find the services they need. You can find information about jobs and training, unemployment benefits, health care, family support and housing. CPL has also put together (along with other members of the Metro Net Library Consortium) a checklist to help those that are facing unemployment and feeling overwhelmed by the recession. Tough Times - Library Lifelines is a list of resources to help you: file for unemployment, find affordable health insurance, find a new job, keep your home, maintain and repair your credit plus find additional assistance.

Bottomfeeder...you'll never look at fish the same way

If you, like many of us these days, are on a quest to learn more about the food you consume -- where it comes from, how it is produced, what is in it, and if it is sustainably obtained -- you may want to read Bottomfeeder: How to Eat Ethically in a World of Vanishing Seafood by Taras Grescoe. However, if you really love fish (and I do) be aware that it may change your fish consumption drastically. Shrimp is something I will now eat only on very special occasions.

Quagga Mussels Invading Great Lakes

Although the zebra mussel is better known to the public, over the past decade it has largely been displaced in Lake Michigan by the quagga mussel, according to an article in the online magazine Michigan Today. Each quagga and zebra mussel filters about a quart of water a day—and there are billions of them in Lake Michigan alone. The result is startlingly clear water that delights recreational boaters but disturbs scientists because the water has been stripped of life-supporting algae.

Bus Route Coming to Canton in August

Another way to green your life! The Ann Arbor Transportation Authority's A2Express will begin routes to Canton effective August 24, 2009. The Canton Express route will provide commuter service from Canton to Ann Arbor on weekdays. The buses serve two locations in Canton including Independence Park and Cherry Hill Village. Visit the AATA website for information regarding schedules, bus stops, commuter parking, fares, tickets and passes.

Dian Slavens to Host Green Town Hall at CPL on Thursday

State Representatives Dian Slavens (D-Canton) and Marc Corriveau (D-Northville) will hold a special green town hall meeting on Thursday, July 23 at 6pm in the Community Room. They will share information about job opportunities in new and emerging industries like renewable energy. Slavens and Corriveau will be joined by Liesl Clark, deputy director of the Michigan Department of Energy, Labor and Economic Growth. No registration is necessary.

Wind Turbines Available at Ace Hardware Stores in the Fall?

According to greentechmedia.com, a small rooftop wind turbine will be available in the fall from ACE Hardware. The Honeywell Wind Turbine, produced by EarthTronics (a Muskegon, Michigan-based company) is being advertised as an affordable wind turbine at an estimated MSRP of $4,500 (plus $1,500 installation fee) and can produce power from winds that range in speed from two miles per hour to 45 miles per hour.

Greenpeace's Guide to Greener Electronics

Greenpeace International has released its annual "Guide to Greener Electronics" which ranks the 17 top manufacturers of personal computers, mobile phones, TV's and games consoles according to their policies on toxic chemicals, recycling and climate change. Greenpeace provides a score for each company from 1 - 10 (10 being the best) with a brief explanation. If you can't get enough of green technology resources, check out what CPL has to offer.

May We Suggest a Great Read?

Children, tweens, teens and adults can get customized book recommendations from CPL librarians by simply filling out a May We Suggest form. This great service provides you with personalized reading recommendations based on information you provide us in the form. Don't have time to fill out a form but still want some suggestions for a great read? Check out our May We Suggest blog. Photo courtesy of AP Photo.